Shi Shi Beach
Photograph by Melissa Farlow, National Geographic Creative
Stubborn remnants of an ancient coastline, sea stacks tower above Shi Shi Beach in Olympic National Park. Endowed with a dramatic coastline, thick forests, and muscular peaks, Olympic scores a gold among the nation's premier parks.
Photograph by Sam Abell, National Geographic Creative
Blacktail deer graze on wildflowers in a meadow on Hurricane Ridge. Wildlife has room to roam in the park, which covers 922,000 acres.
Hoh Rain Forest
Photograph by Greg Vaughn, Getty Images
In the green, shadowed world of the Pacific Northwest temperate rain forest, Sitka spruces and western hemlocks grow 250 feet high. In their shade, maples wear shaggy beards of lichen, and ferns flourish.
Photograph by Konrad Wothe/Minden Pictures
Low tide exposes tide pools—and sea creatures—along the coast in Olympic National Park. Alternately battered by waves and dried out by the sun, tide pools nevertheless teem with life.
Photograph by John Orcutt, Getty Images
Autumn blazes on Hurricane Ridge, so named for the force of its winter winds. The 17-mile drive to the ridge takes you from lowland forest to tree line, nearly a mile above sea level.
Photograph by Colin Brynn, Robert Harding World Imagery/Alamy
Jagged peaks near Mount Olympus are part of the Olympics, a glacial range visible from Seattle, 40 miles to the east.
Photograph by Donald E. Hall, Getty Images
Near the ocean, Sitka spruce commonly develop large, nobby growths called burls. Spruce Burl Trail is a brief detour from First Beach.
Photograph by Konrad Wothe, Minden Pictures/National Geographic Creative
A California sea lion soaks up the sun at Cape Alava in Olympic National Park. In spring and fall, migrating gray whales can be seen here.
Photograph by Colin Brynn, Robert Harding Picture Library Ltd/Alamy
A mile-long trail winds through a forest of Douglas fir before reaching Marymere Falls, which drop 90 feet.
Photograph by Michael Wheatley, Getty Images
Low clouds obscure part of the magnificent view from the Deer Park area of Olympic National Park. Because of the park's relatively unspoiled condition, the United Nations has declared it both an international biosphere reserve and a World Heritage site.
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